630,000 people have been affected as a result of floods in Sri Lanka. People in Need and their partners have been helping the most vulnerable to restore their livelihoods and clean water sources

630,000 people have been affected as a result of floods in Sri Lanka. People in Need and their partners have been helping the most vulnerable to restore their livelihoods and clean water sources

Prague, Colombo (24th July 2017) Floods and landslides triggered by heavy torrential rains in Sri Lanka at the end of May have destroyed 2,500 houses and partially damaged almost 16,000 houses. These floods, worst since 2003, have affected as many as 630,000 people, of which one third are children. 15 out of Sri Lanka`s 25 districts have been afflicted; its southwestern districts of Galle, Kaluthara, Matara and Ratnapura have been hit the hardest.

Thanks to the resources from the People in Need Club of Friends and the humanitarian fund of Alliance2015, People in Need (PIN) together with its partner organizations from Aliance2015, ACTED and HELVETAS, were one of the first to start providing assistance in one of the most afflicted districts – in Ratnapura. We help restore water sources; we provide small financial grants to local inhabitants so they can rebuild their livelihoods. They can also earn some extra money clearing-up after the floods, as a form of community service.

The floods destroyed not only the houses but also access roads, fields and tea plantations. “Those local inhabitants, who were lucky enough not to lose their homes and their possessions, often lost the sources of their livelihood. Two hundred of the most vulnerable people – single mothers, the elderly or the ill – will receive immediate financial support so that they are able to buy what they need the most,” says Hubert Topinka, PIN`s  emergency coordinator in Sri Lanka.

Debris removal and water supply reconstruction

Debris removal and rebuilding of roads and infrastructure gave jobs to further 500 people in terms of Cash for Work programme. “We coordinate our reconstruction efforts with the local communities. We supply them with necessary tools and equipment, such as water pumps for cleaning the wells. We provide financial support as well: we contribute money to the salaries of these people; at the moment, this is the only possible way for them to earn a living,” says Topinka. The floods in May contaminated sources of drinking water in affected areas. Local residents, aided by NGOs, are mapping the contaminated wells, and cleaning them too. So far, PIN has helped clean 22 wells.

PIN immediately released 1,000,000 CZK (37,000EUR) from the humanitarian fund of the Club of Friends of People in Need and sent its humanitarian worker to Sri Lanka. There it coordinated the aid together with its partner organizations from Alliance2015 association which, in turn, provided resources from its own humanitarian fund.

PIN has been operating in Sri Lanka since 2005, and now has an office in the country`s capital, Colombo. In the long term, it focuses on development projects; at the moment, it is the introduction of small-scale biogas plants as effective energy sources and the means of waste management. “This year`s floods were the worst since 2013. That is why we decided to help the people in the affected areas right away,“ explains Topinka. He adds that PIN has had experience providing humanitarian aid in Sri Lanka after the tsunami, during the armed conflict in the north of the country and with post-flood reconstruction last year which was made possible thanks to the support of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

It is thanks to the support of the donors from PIN`s Club of Friends, and also thanks to cooperation with ACTED from France and HELVETAS from Switzerland, our partner organizations from Alliance2015 , that People in Need is able to help deal effectively with the consequences of floods in Sri Lanka. You can find more about PIN`s efforts in Sri Lanka here. We would like to thank all our donors for their support.

For further information please contact:

Hubert Topinka, PIN emergency coordinator in Sri Lanka, +420 778 442 514, hubert.topinka@peopleinneed.cz

Author: PIN